E-bike sales have exploded recently and the upward trend is expected to continue for some time. But for those who cannot afford the often high prices of dedicated e-bikes, conversion kits offer a cheaper way to give your ride a motor boost. Velotton introduced a relatively lightweight solution called Vekkit last year, and now version two has been announced.
While e-bike conversion kits can provide a way to join the electric revolution without spending thousands, many can put a heavy load on the host ride, making pedaling a chore when the battery runs out or when you are want to use a normal old bicycle as a bicycle without having to replace a non-driven wheel.
The basic e-bike conversion kit from Vekkit consists of a wheel that rocks a hub motor, a bag that houses the battery and electronics, and a wireless cadence sensor to attach to the pedal. The new GPS + LTE module is optionally available
Last year’s Vekkit system reduced the weight of the wheel by removing the battery and electronics, putting them in a bag and hanging them on the handlebars. When the user no longer needed assistance from the motor, the bag could be removed and left at home, with the wheel rocking the motor packing hub, which was found to be light enough to stay in place for normal journeys.
The new version offers a similar package, but the company has now added a GPS + LTE module to keep an eye on your converted e-bike when you are not around.
When the module’s sensor detects movement, for example when a light-fingered occasional cyclist tries to drive away on his bike, it sends a notification to a smartphone and reports the location of the trip thanks to GPS. It is designed to work for up to two months without connecting to the main battery of the kit and can be installed on previous versions of the Vekkit.
Other sensors in the module monitor the air quality, register gradients, track accelerations and more. And Velotton says all of this data can be stored without the need for an active connection to a smartphone that is running a companion app.
A pack bag plus battery bag is available as an option
The kit now includes three battery options – a new 5 Ah lithium-ion battery that weighs 900 g (1.98 lb) for up to 25 km (15.5 miles) per charge, an airplane-friendly 5, 2 Ah battery with 1.3 kg (2.8 lb) for approximately 30 km (18.5 miles) and a 1.7 kg (3.7 lb) 10 Ah battery for up to 80 km (50 Miles). There are also kits for wheel sizes from 16 to 29 inches as well as wheels with disc, rim or roller brakes.
The waterproof Cordura bag does not necessarily have to hang on the handlebars; it can, for example, be mounted on the seat post or in a bike bag over a luggage rack (if the host bike has one). A single cable runs from the battery pouch to the low-noise 36 V / 250 W hub motor, which provides pedal assistance up to 25.5 km / h (15.8 mph) on public roads or 30 km / h (18.6 mph) can. on private roads (the maximum speed can be adjusted via a mobile app). A wireless cadence sensor attached to the pedal starts the motor, with a wireless remote control attached to the handlebar that activates the assistance modes.
Installation takes around 5-10 minutes depending on the host bike, and the kits come with all of the tools you need. Prices for the new Vekkit start at € 670 (about $ 800). The new GPS + LTE module is optionally available from October for 195 euros.